Richardson wins poetry award

Published 10:31 pm Friday, September 5, 2014

Local poet Nathan Richardson has added yet another award to his impressive resume.

He was named the 2014 Slam Organizer of the Year at the fifth National Poetry Awards last week. The event happened to be held nearby, at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott.

“It was a real nice event,” Richardson said, noting other awards included poet of the year, poetry book of the year and spoken word album of the year.

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Richardson, who also is an advertising representative at the Suffolk News-Herald, said he was honored mostly for his work with the Hampton Roads Youth Poets. The poetry team is under the Teens with a Purpose umbrella organization that operates in Norfolk.

The team meets every Monday night during the school year and, during the summer, travels to competitions. Known as “poetry slams,” where work is recited aloud and scored by judges, the competitions have become increasingly popular among younger poets in recent years.

Richardson said he has taken five teams to the Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam, held this summer in Philadelphia.

He has been working with the Hampton Roads Youth Poets and Teens with a Purpose for 10 years and said he appreciates the award because “it brings attention to that organization.”

A Suffolk native who attended Mount Zion Elementary School and Forest Glen High School, Richardson has published several books of poetry and in 2012 received the Move Maker Award from the Teens with a Purpose organization. He regularly performs at poetry readings, literary festivals and other events in the area.